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Friday, February 29, 2008

Return on Marketing Investment

Most people have a hard time looking at marketing as anything but a dreaded cost of doing business. There's a move afoot, however, to change the way we look at marketing from a cost, to an investment.

It’s a little difficult to make that leap in logic, but let me lay it out for you.

The days of considering a campaign a success when you win one client from a campaign that cost as much as the client is worth are coming to an end. Sophisticated marketers, like JDM and others, are bringing the idea of marketing as an investment to bear for their clients.

Here’s how it works (the short version).

By running trackable campaigns for years and aggregating the performance data, marketers are able to determine, with freighting accuracy, conversion rates and the probability of success for a given campaign type for a given client.

By calculating the net lifetime value of a single new customer, marketers are able to design cost-effective ways at arriving at a campaign goal that will generate a positive return on investment.

To hear the long version of how marketing can be an investment for your business, contacts us regarding a Marketing Needs Assessment.

For more information about how JDM provides its clients the best in high-impact, low-cost marketing, visit our website.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Holy Grail of Marketing

1 to 1 marketing or the ability to send your highly-relevant, personalized marketing communications to prospects as if you where speaking to them specifically, is often referred to as "the Holy Grail" of marketing.

This is easier said than done. Traditionally, marketing activities simply targeted a demographic and in recent years specific psychographics, but those days are coming to an end. Traditional TV, Radio and Print media are really in the business of packaging a demographic and selling it to advertisers. Advertisers want more than to speak to a demographic. They want to speak to their ideal customers—personally.

In a recent study conducted by Veronis Suhler Stevenson, (read the study’s press release here) alternative advertising spending will increase more than 23 percent from 2006 to 2011, while traditional advertising will have a compound annual growth rate of only a little over 1 percent.

The crusade for the marketing “Holy Grail”

More and more marketers are looking for ways to identify and classify prospective customers and then refine their communications to speak as directly to that prospect as possible. The path to 1 to 1 marketing is one of steadily increasing how personal and relevant those communications are. This begins with off-line activities supporting online activities.

Online activities can be tracked, analyzed and that personalization process can be automated. Take, for instance, the following example:

State Farm’s “Now What” Campaign

Worst Case scenarios, including your car being stolen and driven into a pool, are played out on prime TV spots. Each ad finishes the hook, “Now What? Go to NowWhat.com to see what happens.” The marketing play is one of driving traffic to a campaign-specific flash site demonstrating what can happen and how your insurance company can help.

By driving traffic to this hyper-site State Farm is able to analyze not just the success of their TV campaigns, but also funnels prospects into their sales process (beginning either by finding an agent or by requesting a quote).

For a campaign like this to be 1 to 1, the car featured would be of the same make and model as your car is. The navigation would only display things that you own or used to own. This high level of relevancy and personalization is the “Holy Grail of marketing” and we’re not as far away from this as you might think.


What are the latest trends toward 1 to 1 marketing in 2008? Register to download our article: "Taking Advantage of 2008 Marketing Trends" on our website.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What’s the Point of Marketing?

Listen to the audio podcast of this post by clicking here (Podcast runtime: 1:30). Listen to other available audio podcasts on our website: http://www.justindowneymarketing.com/Pods/


Mention "marketing" at a cocktail party and you'll most likely be met with blank stares. Tell someone you're a doctor, a lawyer, an architect, or a plumber and people have a pretty good idea what it is that you do. This is not the case with marketing. The problem is, few people understand what marketing is and those that do understand often don’t see the point.

So, what is the point of marketing?

There are all sorts of marketing strategies but most to all of them boil down to sales support. Ultimately, all the Branding, Positioning, or Messaging in the world is meaningless if it doesn’t support your sales efforts and therefore your business objectives.

When marketing supports sales, whether through sales brochures, business cards and trade shows, or though promotions, public relations and advertising, it must always keep in mind that unless its activities somehow help the sales team sell, they’re pretty pointless.

This is not to say that all your marketing activities must directly impact sales, but if they are not a direct contributor, you’d better have the ability to demonstrate how they contributed—albeit indirectly.

Watch TV for 20 minutes and ask yourself every time you see sponsored space if that ad is supporting that company’s sales efforts. Every time a celebrity holds a soda (label out), a NASCAR screams across the screen with all manner of logos on it, or a 90-pound model eats a greasy potato chip, "Is this somehow contributing to my decision to purchase that?"

With the possible exception of the model, I contend that these types of marketing are criminally inefficient and, at the same time, teeth-grindingly common.

It’s unlikely that you’re a major sponsor or have a media purchasing budget that rivals a small country’s GDP, but you don’t have to be one of the ‘big boys’ to make similar errors in your marketing.

There are essentially two keys to making sure your marketing activities aren’t rendered pointless.

Number 1 :: A Marketing Audit
The first is to track the results of recent marketing campaigns through the sales process. Determine if your marketing is helping to close deals, or if it’s just getting in the way?

Number 2 :: Allocate an Adequate Marketing Budget
The second way to make sure your marketing efforts aren’t rendered pointless, is not to strangle the potential out of your marketing by not allocating adequate funding and time. Like trying to start a campfire in the wind, there’s little point if you’re only willing to use one match.

When sales are a key factor in the success of your business, the whole point of your marketing activities are to support that effort. Everything else is pretty pointless and best left at cocktail parties.

For more information about how to improve your marketing activities, visit us online: http://www.justindowneymarketing.com/.

For the latest in news and announcments from Justin Downey Marketing check out announcements page.

Listen to the audio podcast of this post by clicking here (Podcast runtime: 1:30).

Listen to other available audio podcasts on our website: http://www.justindowneymarketing.com/Pods/

 
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